Hey there! Cravings are a funny thing. A couple weeks ago I got a craving for an oatmeal cookie.
Side note: I think it’s absolutely awesome that in pregnancy you can call them “cravings” and have it be totally acceptable! I didn’t have any oatmeal cookies, and didn’t have time to make a batch right then. So, I substituted with something else and was fine.
Then, for the next two weeks I kept thinking at the most random times that an oatmeal cookie would just be the best thing in the world. BUT, I always thought of it at like 10pm when it was too late to bake, or 7am when I didn’t think my boss would understand me being late for work because I just HAD to bake a batch of cookies.
My cravings are reality were simply not cooperating.
Then this weekend, the stars finally aligned and I had the time and ingredients to make a delicious batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. Since I had a feeling I was going to eat a large majority of these cookies myself, I decided to try and lighten them up a bit, without losing any of the perfect oatmeal cookie taste and texture.
I found the answer in one of my favorite baking secrets: applesauce!
By substituting half the butter for applesauce you lighten up on fat and calories, but still get all of the craving-satisfying-pleasure you were looking for. In fact, I still haven’t told my husband that these were made with applesauce!
Secret’s out now! I have to say I had a bit of a devilish smile while he was eating one telling me, “these may be one of the best batches of cookies you’ve ever made!”
Another of my secret weapons in this dish is the walnuts. Coincidentally I think they are the reason these cookies are “the best I’ve ever made.” Michael even decreed that “all oatmeal cookies from now on need walnuts!” I have to say I kind of agree! I also used golden raisins because they are what I had on hand, but you can use any variety you have in your pantry.
I like to make these cookies with a 2 tsp. cookie scoop so I get smaller cookies (aka I can eat more in one sitting and not feel bad about it!), but you could make them bigger if you like. Just make sure to increase your cooking time by a few minutes. As they are, these cookies come up slightly crispy on the outside and very chewy on the inside. I dare you to try not eating one fresh out of the oven.
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- heaping 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (see photo for definition of what “heaping” means)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream butter, applesauce, and sugar until well combined – about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix in. In another bowl combine flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon. With the mixer on low, slowly add flour until batter is incorporated. Stir in oats, raisins, and walnuts.
- Refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
- Drop onto parchment paper using a 2 teaspoon cookie scoop (or just a teaspoon), spacing 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, until the outside is golden brown and the inside is chewy but cooked through.